You can vote on the title … if you subscribe to my newsletter. In the next issue (that will go out early next week) there will be a link to an online survey to choose the title. I’ve been thinking about four options and can’t decide — so I thought I’d let the audience do that!
Below are the covers of the new 60-Second Scholar series. They are now available on Amazon for pre-order, but will only be released May 1. You may recall that Zondervan acquired this series from me, explaining why the old books were retired on Amazon (and now have stupidly high prices attached to them). Each book has been trimmed from 100 short essays to 80.
It’s a post by Jake Mailhout of Lexham Press about my new book, The Bible Unfiltered: Approaching Scripture on Its Own Terms. While blogging about the post is a bit awkward for me, I hope it encourages you to buy a copy — or several — for yourself, friends, and family. Truth be told, the content of the book was written on company time, so I get no royalties. But I don’t do what I do to go to Tahiti. I want it to sell — a lot — because people who care about Scripture need such books. We can’t complain about lay people (and even pastors) not having a good grasp of biblical content if (a) scholars don’t write for them, and (b) people don’t buy the books and read them. This is a book with solid “Heiserian” content written for people who want more Bible but who are frightened by Christian Middle Earth. The same goes for its earlier companion, I Dare You Not to Bore Me with The Bible.
I’ve given my theory of Christian Middle Earth (CME) so many times that I can’t remember who’s heard it and who hasn’t. So I thought a post on it was long overdue.
In over-simplified terms, Christian Middle Earth is that realm between actual biblical scholars (people with real credentials who write for peer review — and mostly write for themselves) and the largest realm, the local church, where serious biblical content is like a Bigfoot sighting. CME is home to the prophecy teaching circuit (think John Hagee or Jonathan Cahn, or Planet X nonsense), charismania (think Bill Johnson or Benny Hinn), Christian conspiracy talk (aliens, nephilim, and UFOs are part of the end times; the Catholic church is hooked up with the Illuminati), Bible codes, Christians who believe in a flat or hollow earth, etc., etc.
Christian Middle Earth has a lot that’s wrong with it. Three-quarters of what gets taught there doesn’t have a prayer of being correct. But it has one important thing going for it. It’s filled with Christians who desperately want content — so much so that they venture out to teach themselves via the Internet and YouTube. They haven’t quite the faith or trying to learn Scripture. CME is all they know since the real scholars aren’t producing material for them in a deliberate way. I admire them, but CME is often soul-crushing for a scholar.
I first coined the metaphor and spelled out the theory on Canary Cry Radio, hosted by CME “traffic cops” Gonz and Basil. Here’s a 12-minute audio segment (MP3) from that episode that helps explain the metaphor. Enjoy!
The giveaway ends midnight, Oct 3 (Pacific time). Submissions received after midnight will not be considered.
On Friday, October 6, 7 pm Pacific, we’ll have a live drawing of the 6 winners on my Facebook / YouTube livestream. You have to follow me on Twitter (@msheiser) or on Facebook, or my personal YouTube Channel to get alerts for the livestream.
Readers of my fiction know that synthetic biology was a sub-plot element in The Portent. Well, we’re moving down the road toward creating humans from scratch (or some sort of human derivative). This article describes a new process for creating a functioning gene.
I heard today that, due to some scheduling problems, seating at the Lubbock, TX event for August 26 will be limited. If you plan to come, be advised. Click on the link for time and place. I will update the event page with anything else relevant if it comes my way.